5/11/23

And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.

I admit, I am one of those people who has several different astrological forecasts delivered to my email box daily. Do I believe them? Not necessarily, though I do tend to watch for signs, though maybe those signs happen because I watch for them, and not because of divine intervention! I have a new student who recently offered to do my astrological chart. It was very interesting to read, though I wasn’t surprised by much. I’ve been told almost all my life that I’m a classic Leo, and I can buy that. I also just figure that I’m me. ?

One of the things that I receive in my mailbox that is similar to the astrological forecasts is a daily fortune cookie. These are just fun. They arrive in the evening, and one evening early this week, I tapped the image of the fortune cookie on my computer screen and it opened to say, “Your love of music will be an important part of your life.”

I agreed with that. I’ve always loved music, took part in band and chorus while in school, almost always have something to sing along to in the car (even in the convertible, and people who pull up next to me often join in!), and I assign a song to every book I write. I listen to the song faithfully every day as I work my way through draft after draft of a book, and it helps me to shove aside anything (everything) else that is going on in my life so I can focus. Like Pavlov’s dogs at the sound of a bell, I drool creatively when I hear the chosen song.

So I nodded and moved on with my evening. The next day, at lunchtime, I sat down with a book, Tom Hank’s (yes, THE Tom Hank) short story collection, Uncommon Type. I was happily munching on my sandwich when I read, “Would you own a stereo and never listen to records? Typewriters must be used. Like a boat must sail. An airplane has to fly. What good is a piano you never play? It gathers dust and there is no music in your life.” This was from the story, “These Are The Meditations Of My Heart”.

I thought of the internet fortune cookie the night before: Your love of music will be an important part of your life. I turned and looked at the lovely piano in my living room. Which no one plays. Just the week before, the piano set off a cleaning spree in my home, when Michael said he couldn’t stand the dust on it any longer and had to wipe it down.

Your love of music will be an important part of your life. What good is a piano you never play? It gathers dust and there is no music in your life.

This piano came into my life in August of 2018, when my daughter Olivia’s first grade teacher posted on Facebook that she needed to find a home for her beloved piano. I have always wanted a piano, even though I don’t know how to play.

So let’s wind the clock back even further. I come from a family that lived in a house where music came from every corner. We used to joke that our neighbors must slam their windows shut because coming from our house would be big band and opera from my father, Jim Nabors and Sergio Franchi from my mother, the Beatles from my brother, the Moody Blues from me, and country music from my sister. We all had our own stereos, plus there was the big console stereo in the living room, used mostly by my mother, and my dad’s reel-to-reel tape recorder in the family room. My brother was also a musician, playing practically everything, but especially partial to the organ. Because of him, we had first a Wurlitzer, and then the mighty Hammond in our living room.

But I wanted to play the piano. I’ve always gravitated toward bands that had a keyboardist, and that feature the lovely sounds of the piano. But my parents said no, we have an organ, play that. I didn’t want to. And so I didn’t.

But I always wanted a piano. And now, here was one being offered for free, from a woman I knew who was instrumental (ha!) in Livvy’s upbringing. I told her I would take the piano and rearranged my living room so it would fit. She was delighted, and so was I.

Fast forward now to 2023, and there’s the piano. It’s been silent, except for when Grandgirl Maya Mae comes over and asks if she can pound on the keys. I look at it longingly from time to time.

And now:

Your love of music will be an important part of your life. What good is a piano you never play? It gathers dust and there is no music in your life.

My husband dusted off the piano.

And so I closed the book and lifted my phone. I talked to someone at the White House of Music in Waukesha. Next week Thursday, I will walk in and take my first piano lesson.

Ohmygod.

I am a Leo. One of the hallmarks of a Leo: I make things happen.

I wanted to play the piano. But I was told no.

And then, for heaven’s sake, I was GIVEN a piano. There is a PIANO in my LIVING ROOM.

And then I’m told, in the words that I love to read and write, “Your love of music will be an important part of your life. What good is a piano you never play? It gathers dust and there is no music in your life.”

I read astrological forecasts and I watch for signs and I even believe them when the news is good.

But sometimes they have to wallop me upside the head.

I’m gonna play the piano.

And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.

The day the piano arrived. Olivia, in 2018, plays it. Kind of.
The piano today. No longer dusty. Staring at me and ready for action.

Leave a Reply

%d